FAKY recount their emotional experience at Anime Friends in Sao Paulo, Brazil and share their brand of “GIRLS POWER” in an interview with JaME.
Formed in 2013, FAKY is a J-pop dance group whose music has been featured in popular anime such as "Black Clover (ED4)", "Cardfight!! Vanguard: Legion Mate-Hen", and "Gundam Build Fighters: Battlogue". On July 14th of this year,
FAKY delivered a power-packed performance at Anime Friends in Sao Paulo, Brazil, marking the group’s first-ever South American live concert and first overseas event with their new lineup. The girls recount their emotional
experience at the event and share about their brand of “GIRLS POWER” in an interview with JaME.
Could each member please introduce yourself to our readers who aren’t familiar with FAKY?
Akina: We're a five-member girl group based in Tokyo, Japan. We were all born and raised in different areas of the world and aim to incorporate our individual cultures and styles into our work. As I was raised on American culture, I find that it's my responsibility to represent being free-spirited and bold.
Taki: Hi readers, I’m Taki from FAKY. We're a group of five girls based in Japan. All of us have different backgrounds; let me tell you about mine. Before joining the group, I lived in Paris and then the Philippines. I began working in the industry when I was around 15 years of age, appearing on television shows, in movies and on live shows. I started dancing during that time as well and immediately fell in love with music and dancing. A few years later, I auditioned to join FAKY, and although it was a difficult decision, I chose to begin a new journey.
Lil'Fang: My name is Lil'Fang and I was born and raised in Tokyo. I started singing when I was 16 years old. After working as solo artist, I'm now working as FAKY.
Hina: My name is Hina. I'm from Kyoto and I became a new member of FAKY last year. I'm working hard on singing and dancing, but I want to be active in multiple fields such as modeling and acting.
Mikako: I was born and raised in Fukuoka. I love fashion as well as music. We usually work in Japan with the aim of becoming a girl group with members who have different personalities and value another's individuality so that we’ll be accepted throughout the world.
Normally, Japanese artists go to Latin America later in their career. How was it like for you to have your first overseas performance in a faraway country like Brazil at the Anime Friends event?
Akina: We strive to be artists known worldwide, so it was such an honor to perform in Brazil early in our five-member career. Until now we've only been familiar with Asian audiences, so it was a moving moment to experience first hand that different kind of passion and love of music from everyone at the venue.
Taki: Performing anywhere is already a huge joy for me, no matter the place or the size of the show. However, performing overseas is indeed a huge deal. I'm grateful and thankful to know that my hard work and dedication travels all around the world.
Lil'Fang: I was honored. Being able to perform in Brazil for the first time was very impressive for FAKY and the individual members.
Hina: I really think it's a rare occurrence for a new artist like us to be able to perform overseas. However, I think that it was a great opportunity for FAKY, which has international members like Akina and Taki, and which was set up to be a girl group with overseas activities because of this from the beginning.
Mikako: Is there anyone who knows us? Will anyone accept our music … ? To be honest, I was worried like that at first. However, I was relieved and my anxiety disappeared in an instant when I met fans in Brazil who'd been waiting for us and were singing together all the time during the show. I was delighted to hear that they were crying, laughing, and giving us their honest feelings.
During your performance you sang Four, the ending of “Black Clover”, and Lil' Fang sang a snippet of “Sousei no Aquarion”'s theme. What are the members' favorite anime series and which anime or genre of anime you would like to sing for?
Akina: I do love Studio Ghibli films and “Spirited Away” has to be one of my all-time favorite films.
Taki: I know of just a few that made my childhood more fun. I used to watch “Dragon Ball”, “Arale-chan” and “One Piece”.
Lil'Fang: I was really happy to be able to sing an ending theme song of a wonderful anime titled “Black Clover”. I watched “Evangelion” when I was a high school student and started to like anime. Now I watch all genres of anime, so I can't count the number of anime I like (laughs). If I had a chance to get involved in anime next time, I’d like to sing the theme song of a slightly mysterious work such as “Tokyo Ghoul” or “Psychopath”!
Hina: I really like anime created by Japanese director Makoto Shinkai. He created a very popular work, "Kimi no na wa" ("Your Name"). It's famous for its beautiful images, but I was captivated immediately after watching Shinkai's work titled “Koto no ha no niwa” ("The Garden of Words"). It’d be a dream come true if I could sing the theme song of a work by Makoto Shinkai one day.
Mikako: I've always loved “Crayon Shin-chan” and I still love it so much, so I'll be happy if I can sing “Crayon Shin-chan”’s theme song in the future!
During your performance you also sang a new song titled GIRLS GOTTA LIVE. Why did you choose this overseas stage to perform it first?
Akina: Yes! We were so excited to showcase this one! We don’t get the opportunity to perform outside of Asia very often, so we really wanted to bring something special and unforgettable to all of our fans who had been waiting patiently for us in Brazil!
Taki: All of us were just very excited to perform it. We worked so hard on the choreography and song and couldn’t wait to perform it in front of everyone. Brazil was the perfect opportunity! It was our first time performing far from home, so we wanted to give them a surprise to thank them for all their support!
Lil'Fang: Of course, there was also a desire to surprise fans in Brazil who regularly support us on SNS, but as I mentioned above, I had a desire to bring a new start as five people in a true sense by performing a new song in Brazil which we were visiting for the first time.
Hina: This is our first new song as FAKY with five people, so we had a deep desire to perform at a special place. The performance in Brazil was also a first time for us, and I thought it’d be a special experience that’ll endure into the future, so I was very happy to show it in such a special place.
Mikako: We had many discussions with the members and staff about where we’ll perform this new song at! We performed because we wanted to show new us in Brazil, on this stage, as it’s the first time we’re going to Brazil and the first time we’re performing live overseas with five people!
Taki, you commented during the concert that you're half-Brazilian. How much contact with Brazilian culture did you have in the past and what were you curious about to see in person when you discovered that you would go to Brazil?
Taki: I’m half Brazilian on my dad’s side but unfortunately I’ve never met him. I have a very close relationship with his parents—my grandfather and grandmother—and mostly his whole family. Every time I visited them in Japan (where they used to live), they’d always speak in Portuguese and cook yummy food. I’d always wake up to the smell of pao de queijo. I don’t have many memories with them because we were always apart. My best friend’s family also had a huge Brazilian influence on me. I’ve known him since I was five years old and our friendship has kept growing since then. His mom was the typical Brazilian mom, very friendly, very generous, always dancing and making very good food. She’s the one who taught me how to make pao de queijo and taught me a little bit of Portuguese. There was nothing in particular that I wanted to do in Brazil; I just wanted to go and feel the ground that I’m connected to and feel connected to my dad.
You were very emotional at the end of the concert in Brazil. Could you tell us how your feelings were like at that moment?
Akina: We truly didn’t expect to be asked for an encore at the end of our set, so we were all very moved. We all felt so grateful and fortunate to be able to perform for such a passionate and warm crowd.
Taki: The whole experience was overwhelming. We were neither expecting the reaction nor that kind of welcome.
Lil'Fang: We can't speak Portuguese and were meeting most of the fans there face-to-face for first time, but we felt that everyone accepted our music. I was just touched by that fact.
Hina: To be honest, I was worried about the performance overseas, but when I got on the stage and looked at everyone's faces, all my worries disappeared. When I heard everyone screaming FAKY’s name after the performance ended, I was very surprised and moved because I didn't expect it. I went on stage again and directly felt the love from everyone, and my tears naturally didn’t stop. I was really happy.
Mikako: I was just happy. At the same time, I appreciated the fans and was sorry for making them wait for so long.
What did you expect from South American fans? Did they match your expectations and was there anything you would like to highlight?
Akina: We were told that South Americans know how to get loud and excited! Our expectations were met and exceeded a thousand times over. Our fans might not know this, but it truly gives us energy in the moment when we see you guys singing our lyrics back to us. This live will always hold a special place as one of the most powerful crowds in FAKY history.
Taki: I received many messages but I wasn’t expecting that amount of energy and such a warm welcome.
Lil'Fang: I created the live performance just because I wanted fans to purely enjoy it. However, I was really impressed by the reaction that far exceeded my expectations. It was our first encore experience even though it wasn’t a one-man live show, so my tears came due to the fans’ kindness.
Hina: I’d been receiving messages of support from fans in Brazil via DM, so I was really looking forward to seeing them directly, rather than looking through the screen. I was worried about the language, but I was really moved when I heard the audience actually singing the lyrics during the show. I was really happy to hear their voices in person; it was even more support than I expected.
Mikako: I answered this in question two, but at first I was worried if everyone could accept our music. However, people in Brazil were so cheerful that they blew away my anxiety and they sang along despite the lyrics being of a different language. I realized again that we don’t need to care about language to sing songs.
FAKY welcomed two new members recently and announced its reboot with a trilogy of dance songs around the theme "GIRLS POWER". What kind of influence would you like to have on your female fans and which female artists have inspired you?
Akina: Girl power has always been the common theme for FAKY no matter which members were active at the time. We really want to teach girls what it means to be the best version of themselves as a strong woman. Of course this isn’t something we ourselves have mastered yet, so we’re all on this journey together. Artists such as Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, P!nk, and Halsey, who aren’t afraid to confront current issues and raise women up all over the world are true icons to us.
Taki: Every girl is unique and has a different point of view. As a member of FAKY, I can say that every member has their own kind of way to influence you. I want to share the idea and influence girls into believing that we shouldn’t fight or judge each other. There’s already so much pressure and discrimination in the world. We should help each other, fight together and stick together.
Lil'Fang: I want to convey to live femininely as a woman without hesitation. I think that women's “strength” is having a great impact on society in various ways, but there are many people who still struggle and find it difficult to live. I hope to support such people through music. I’m encouraged by Kumi Koda. She has been active on the front lines for more than 10 years, and when I look at her, I can still work hard even when I almost feel like giving up. She gives me such power.
Hina: Of course I have weaknesses and worries as a woman, but I still want everyone to feel how I like myself in spite of that and want to be both beautiful and strong as a woman. So, I don't intend to hide my weak parts. Since I like K-pop, I’m always influenced by Korean artists. I admire 2NE1, but I’m interested in groups such as BLACKPINK and ITZY because of the message they’re trying to send now as a group, and I'm watching them carefully as well.
Mikako: I want to convey the individual strength and beauty of women that comes only from women. The artist who inspired me to be part of a girl group is 2EN1.
What are the goals that FAKY would like to achieve in the near future?
Akina: We have countless goals that we’re working towards everyday. Our main goal is to travel as much as we can to meet as many of our fans as possible.
Taki: Our goal is simple—we want to inspire people with our dance and make them feel better with our music. Performing on big stages and in front of millions of people would be a dream come true.
Lil'Fang: First of all, I’d like fans to receive our message through the next trilogy. Once you hear it, you’ll receive the “GIRLS POWER” that FAKY thinks of. I have strong confidence in it. And the goal is to meet again the fans in Brazil who made Brazil a special place for the new FAKY!
Hina: In the near future, I’d like to perform at the Budokan as FAKY. As a Japanese, performing at the Budokan* is one of my dreams that I'd like to fulfill.
*The Budokan is known as the gateway to success for Japanese musicians.
Mikako: In the near future, I would be happy if we were accepted not only in Japan but in various foreign countries as well where this trilogy is based!
Please leave a message for your fans.
Akina: To our fans, none of this would be possible without you. All of you give us the will to never give up and work harder every day. We appreciate all of your love and send the same love, if not more, back your way! We love you!
Taki: I want to thank all of you. I love my job more thanks to all of you. All of you all make the sacrifices worth it. There are no words to explain how grateful, thankful and blessed I am to receive all of your support. I love you all.
Lil'Fang: Thank you very much for your warm welcome at Anime Friends in Brazil! I’d been reading messages on SNS, but I realized that so many people knew our music. And everyone’s feelings were our motivation and we were able to have the best performance. I’m sure that this is a performance that was made in collaboration with FAKY and everyone. We’ll do our best to meet you again and continue to deliver music that will satisfy you, so please support us! Obrigada!
Hina: Thank you very much for your love from Brazil for three days. I still can’t get the people I saw and words I heard from the stage out of my head. From now, it’ll definitely be a special experience to remember as artists. We’ll definitely return to Brazil and we want everyone to see our growth. Will you wait until then? Japan is far away from Brazil, but FAKY will continue to work hard so that we can always deliver music that’s close to you. Please look forward to it!
Mikako: Thank you very much for always supporting us. We’re still making many preparations to deliver various aspects of FAKY to everyone, so please look forward to it! We’ll betray you in a good way!
JaME would like to thank FAKY and Avex Inc. for this interview opportunity.
FAKY will be performing in Canada for the first time at Otakuthon on August 16th. The concert will be held in Room 210. Tickets are $20 in addition to the base convention admission. The concert is presented in association with J-rock North Promotions Inc. and Avex Management Inc. For more information, visit https://www.otakuthon.com/2019/events/concerts/faky_concert/.
Watch FAKY’s video comment for Otakuthon below:
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